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Ivybridge 31, BARFC 26

| 21/03/2015 | Reply


IVYBRIDGE  31 pts                               BRIDGWATER & ALBION  26 pts

This narrow defeat probably ensures that Bridgwater will be playing South West 1 rugby again next season.  They needed a five point victory at Ivybridge to leapfrog the Devon side into second place but it was not to be.  After a thrilling game of rugby between two very committed sides it was the home side who gained five points , scoring four tries,  whilst visitors, Bridgwater, had to be content with a losing bonus point.  writes Tony Pomeroy.

The home side deserved their narrow win whilst Bridgwater with two tries from Rob Allen and Ollie Dunn relied on the boot of Chris Ashwin for the remaining sixteen points.

The wildly partisan crowd – with support equally split for both sides –  saw their players each give their all.  Yes, there were errors on both sides but it made for a superb afternoon’s entertainment.  A word, too, for the young Cornish referee, James Milliner, who more than played his part in entertaining the crowd by allowing the players the chance to play whilst still maintaining a firm control.

Bridgwater’s new signing, Jordan Brodley was missing through injury as was full back, James Martin. Garryn Basson returned to the wing and Joe Stradling had a rare start at flanker.

Bridgwater had the better of the opening exchanges.  Arg Saliarelis, who ran strongly all afternoon, was tackled just short of the line before Chris Ashwin opened the scoring with a 34m penalty after 7 minutes.

When Ivybridge did attack, Ollie Dunn and  Dan Kemmish each had excellent runs out of defence to ease the pressure before Rob Allen was the victim of a high tackle and Ashwin kicked the resulting 43m penalty for a 0-6 lead.

James Bryant then made a telling interception on his own 22 for the first of many powerful runs from the veteran prop. Mid way through the half, Ivybridge scored their first try.  They had already had one driving maul from a line-out that was stopped just short of the Bridgwater line and a second attempt proved unstoppable as second row Elliott Worrall was driven over in the corner.  Fly half Matt Grieveson converted with a superb kick from the touchline.  Minutes later, Bridgwater lost the ball and were then penalised. The penalty to the corner proved decisive as flanker Alex Hall scored wide out following a clever line-out move. Grieveson converted with another excellent kick for a 14-6 lead.

From the kick off, Ashwin narrowed the gap with another penalty as Ivybridge were penalised for obstruction.  The home side hit back immediately and full-back Tom Scholes appeared to score in the corner only to see the try wiped out as the ‘scoring’ pass was forward.  The home side then butchered a gilt edged chance by squandering a two man overlap. The final action of the half saw home scrum half put in a speculative box kick on the Bridgwater 22. The visiting defence were not at home and Scholes gathered cleanly and scored unopposed giving Grieveson an easy conversion and Ivybridge a 21-9 half time lead.

Bridgwater started the second half very strongly with Rob Allen making good progress up the touchline before being tackled into touch on the home 22.  Ashwin then missed a kickable penalty – the only miss of the afternoon – but when home centre Adam Bradley was sent to the naughty step for an infringement in the ‘red zone’, he kicked a simple penalty to reduce the home lead to 21-12.

Bridgwater almost scored but Allen was held up over the line. However, a series of Bridgwater errors then gave Ivybridge field position and following pressure, Scholes touched down for his second try and Grieveson kept up his 100% goal-kicking record.  At 28-12 midway through the half, Ivybridge may have imagined the game was effectively over.

Bridgwater however, had other ideas. An interception in their own 22 gave them unexpected possession and Jervis Manupenu, who made the first incursion, handed on to Allen. He still had a lot to do from 45m out but he broke through the home defence and with Ashwin converting his try it was suddenly 28-19.  Ivybridge then began to exert pressure and Bridgwater had to defend stoutly.

Into the final minutes, Bridgwater were camped on the home 22.  The play was scrappy with the ball bouncing around. Visiting skipper, Ollie Dunn, some 30m out, picked up the loose ball and moments later he had burst through the home defence to score under the posts and give Ashwin an easy conversion to make the score a nail-biting 28-26 and any result still possible.   

In the frantic final four minutes, Ivybridge hammered at the Bridgwater line and were relieved to be awarded a penalty, kicked by Grieveson, just seconds before the final whistle to make the final score 31-26.

That was a game Bridgwater could have won.  They tried very hard but occasional errors proved their downfall. The scrum was solid and all put-ins were secure and as usual, the line-out looked very good, the only blot being when Matt Hastie was penalised for stepping into the field before throwing in the ball.  The tackle count was quite high but there were a few that were missed and some of these proved costly.  Open play was generally good with a number of individual breaks but there were occasional passes that did not go to hand. 

Next week, Bridgwater host Matson who have recorded good wins in their last two games as they fight to avoid being relegated with Cullompton and St. Austell.  Another tough game will be in prospect. The game will kick off at 3-00pm.



Ivybridge                                 Tries: Worrall, Hall, Scholes (2)

                                                Cons:   Grieveson (4)

                                                Pen:     Grieveson


Bridgwater & Albion   Tries:     Allen,  Dunn

                                                Cons:     Ashwin (2)

                                                Pens:       Ashwin (4)


Bridgwater Team

Stu Heal,  Garryn Basson,  Rob Allen,  Chris Ashwin, Arg Saliarelis, Jervis Manupenu,  Roger Drabble,  James Bryant,  Matt Hastie,  Joe Bussell,  Ali Blundell,  Dan Kemmish,  Joe Stradling,  Ollie Dunn (Capt), Taylor Buller. 

Replacements Used  Nick Spellissy,  Nick Francis   Not Used  Gary Saunders


Referee:  James Milliner  (Cornwall Referees Society)

Category: Previews / Reports -XV

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